Max Peralta Hospital in Cartago province has confirmed that a patient died last week of complications caused by AH1N1, also known as swine flu.
Hospital director Alexánder Sánchez Cabo said the man’s health conditions worsened because he suffered from obesity, a risk factor for influenza patients.
Another five people between age 30 and 60 are currently hospitalized with respiratory problems in the country, and doctors are waiting for tests results to confirm whether they have the virus.
As a preventive measure hospital officials at Max Peralta this week restricted visits to only two per patient.
Xiomara Badilla, coordinator of epidemiological surveillance for the Social Security System, or Caja, said the agency does not consider the situation an outbreak, as the number of cases is still within the average for seasonal flu cases.
Possible case in northern region
Officials at the San Carlos Hospital, in northern Alajuela province, also reported the death of one man, age 48, from complications with a respiratory virus.
However, they are still waiting for results of clinical tests to determine whether the man had the AH1N1 virus. If confirmed, he would be the fourth victim this month registered in the country’s northern region.
Over the weekend, the hospital admitted 25 patients with respiratory problems. Officials were forced to increase sanitary measures in the emergency room, and to temporarily suspend all visits to patients, except for very special situations.
Records from San Carlos Hospital indicate that a total of six people died of AH1N1 virus in 2014.
The Caja’s Badilla asked the population to remain calm but maintain all preventive measures to avoid the spread of respiratory diseases.
Doctors recommend frequent hand-washing and covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. They also recommend using only disposable tissues and remaining alert for symptoms such as high fever and breathing problems.